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Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
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Canadians urge expanding COVID-19 asymptomatic testing across Canada

Long wait times for testing and limited testing locations continue to be challenges in many parts of the country

September 15, 2020 (Ottawa): As the new school year begins, and increased rates of COVID-19 are being reported across the country, expanding asymptomatic testing could strengthen much needed capacity in provincial public health testing and provide additional peace of mind for anxious Canadians. According to a new survey conducted by Abacus Data and commissioned by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), nearly a third of Canadians would be more comfortable sending their kids back to school if COVID-19 tests were available at more locations.

Testing those who do not show symptoms for COVID-19 can help locate cases in the community that might go unnoticed, highlight at-risk areas and isolate people who may not know they have the virus and could spread it to others.

“Increasing testing is critical to limit the spread of COVD-19,” says Shelita Dattani, Director, Knowledge Translation and Practice Development, CPhA. “With more than 11,000 locations across the country, many in rural and remote areas, pharmacies can make testing more accessible to Canadians, and help communities restart schools and re-open their economies safely.”

Canadians are on board with the idea of expanding COVID-19 testing to pharmacies:

  • 41% of Canadians are more likely to get a COVID-19 test if pharmacists were able to administer them in their province
  • 75% of Canadians are comfortable or very comfortable with pharmacists administering asymptomatic COVID-19 tests
  • 68% of Canadians are comfortable or very comfortable with getting a COVID-19 test at a community pharmacy
  • Canadians cite sending kids back to school and going back to their workplace as top activities they would be more comfortable with if COVID-19 tests were offered at more locations

Pharmacies in Alberta and in parts of the United States are now permitted to administer some types of tests for COVID-19. Canada could increase its testing capacity by thousands of patients each day by expanding this service to pharmacies across the country.

CPhA encourages governments to pursue enhanced testing strategies that will increase access for Canadians so that we can all help slow the rates of COVID-19 infections across the country.

About the Canadian Pharmacists Association
The Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is the uniting national voice of pharmacy and the pharmacist profession in Canada. As pharmacists undertake an enhanced role in the delivery of health care services, CPhA ensures that the profession is recognized as a national leader in health care, influencing the policies, programs, budgets and initiatives affecting the profession and the health of Canadians.